In his classic work first published in the U.S. in 1982, Kenichi Ohmae outlines the general approach of a strategy analyst. He draws a distinction between absolute vs. relative strength and explains why strategic thinking puts a particular emphasis on relative strength:
I make the distinction between relative and absolute strength because there is a great difference between the two with respect to the degree of urgency. Internal weaknesses or inefficiencies can usually be tolerated, at least for a time. By contrast, deterioration of a company's position relative to that of its competitors may endanger the very existence of the enterprise. In effect, it will allow the company's profitability to be controlled by its competitors, a situation in which sound management of the enterprise will no longer be possible.
The Mind of the Strategist: The Art of the Japanese Business, Kenichi Ohmae